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Nietzsche I negate. The criterion is accepting suffering.

When faced with potential suffering, we ha ve two choices: 1) The Aff mindset, where calculation of the greatest good causes us to become a mindless herd, dooming us to mediocrity and loathing of the world, or 2) We can accept the world as it is, accepting suffering, chaos and discord, esc aping existential nihilism by refraining from changing it Reader in Political Philosophy David Owen and Professor Aaron Ridley write: "The threat here is obvious: What is to be feared, what has a more calamitous ef fect than any other calamity, is that man should inspire not profound fear but p rofound nausea; also not great fear but great pity. Suppose these two were one d ay to unite, they would inevitably beget one of the uncanniest monsters: the "la st will" of man, his will to nothingness, nihilism. And a great deal points to t his union. (GM III:I4) So suicidal nihilism beckons. The one response to the sit uation that is absolutely ruled out is the one that has so far proved most succe ssful at addressing problems of this sort, namely, adoption of the ascetic ideal , because the present crisis is caused by the self-destruction of that ideal. Bu t Nietzsche argues that two plausible responses to the crisis are nonetheless po ssible for modern man. Both of these involve the construction of immanent ideals or goals: one response is represented by the type the Last Man, the other by th e type the Ubermensch. The first response recognizes the reality of suffering an d our (post-ascetic) inability to accord transcendental significance to it and c oncludes that the latter provides an overwhelming reason for abolishing the form er to whatever extent is possible. This has the effect of elevating the abolitio n of suffering into a quasi-transcendental goal and brings with it a new table o f virtues, on which prudence figures largest. In other words, this response take s the form of a rapport a soi characterized by a style of calculative rationalit y directed toward the avoidance of suffering at any cost, for example, of utilit itarianism and any other account of human subjectivity that accords preeminence to maximizing preference satisfaction. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche port rays this type as follows: "What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?" thus asks the Last Man and blinks. The earth has become small, and upon it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small. His race is as inexterminable as the flea; the Last Man lives longest. "We have discovered happiness," say the Last Men and blink. They have left the places where living was hard: for one needs warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs oneself against him: for one needs warmth. Sickne ss and mistrust count as sins with them: one should go about warily. He is a foo l who still stumbles over stones or over men! A little poison now and then: that produces pleasant dreams. And a lot of poison at last, for a pleasant death. Th ey still work, for work is entertainment. But they take care the entertainment d oes not exhaust them. Nobody grows rich or poor any more: both are too much of a burden. Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both are too much of a burden. No he rdsman and one herd. Everyone wants the same thing, everyone is the same: whoeve r thinks otherwise goes voluntarily into the madhouse "Formerly all the world wa s mad," say the most acute of them and blink. They are clever and know everythin g that has ever happened: so there is no end to their mockery. They still quarre l, but they soon make up-otherwise indigestion would result. They have their lit tle pleasure for the day and their little pleasure for the night: but they respe ct health. We have discovered happiness," say the Last Men and blink. (Z: I "Prolog ue" 5) Nietzsche's hostility to this first form of response is evident. His general obj

Yet the suc cess of this overcoming is conditional on the exercise and development of the ve ry capacities and disposition that are the bequest of the ascetic ideal. Whereas the latter offers a fee ling of power to its devotees by positing as realizable the unrealizable ideal o f no more suffering-that is. So this response. Thus the Last Man's i deal is predicated on a neglect of truthfulness. By contrast with. a state that soon makes man ridiculous and contemptible t hat makes his destruction desirable" (BGE 225). What the Last Man longs for. Whereas the ascetic ideal denies chance and necessity per se so that.ection to the Last Man is that the Last Man's ideal. what is objectionable about it that is. The second dimension of Nietzsc he's objection is that pursuit of the Last Man's ideal impoverishes and arbitrar ily restricts our understanding of what we can be and. and therefore requi re perpetually to be affirmed anew..) bequeat hed by the ascetic ideal. in doing so. one's capacities for self-surveilla nce and self-discipline). final. Thus the ascetic ideal provides the tools required to overcome the crisis precipitated by its own self-destruction. The first is that the Last Man's ideal [it] is unrealizable. The contrast with the Last Man's ideal is stark. this awful fact about human existence requires the exercise of the capacities for self-surveill ance (so that one can monitor oneself for the symptoms of self-deception in the face of this fact).. The first is the one mentioned above given that chance and nec essity are ineliminable features of living a life. in the face of this temptation. is committed to the denial of chance and necessity as integral features of human ex istence. such exercise and cultivation must itself be perpetual. etc. like the ascetic ideal. the Ubermensch distinguishes himself by unendingly and truthfully refusing t o want. a life oriented to the affirm ation of this fact must recognize the ineliminably processual character of such an affirmation. overcomes the (ascetic ) hatred of or (modern) dissatisfaction with this-worldly existence. th at seems to us an end. This general objection has two specific dimensions. amor fati). self-discipline (so that one can resist the understandable t emptation to deceive oneself about this fact). a process without the slightest prospect of an end. if possible and there is no more insane 'if possibl e' to abolish suffering. insofar as it cultivates an affirmation of chance and necessity (i. Well-being as you understand it that is no goal. But actually to recognize. th e Ubermensch's ideal simply is the exercise and cultivation of the capacities an d the disposition required to affirm the fact that chance and necessity are inel iminable. in other word s. Nietzsche brings these two dimensions together in Beyo nd Good and Evil: "You want. It is of the first importance that the Ubermensch's ideal should represe nt a process as inherently valuable.. forecloses o ur future possibilities of becoming otherwise than we are. and hence.e. rather than a product (such as the Last Man 's completed state of life without suffering). The second response to the nihil istic threat posed by the self-destruction of the ascetic ideal is definitive of the Ubermensch type. Kant's concept .. and self-overcoming (so that one can develop. and hence the ineliminably processual character of an ideal that serves rather than denies "the most fundamental prerequisites of life (GM III:28 ). say. what is objectionable about it is abolished. The other reason is that this ideal exhibits the form of practical reasoning that Nietzsche's genealogy itself deploys. Thus the Last Man's i deal entails an atrophying of the capacities (for self-overcoming. And because chance and necessity are ineliminable. There are two reasons for thinkin g this important. In other words. insofar as human existe nce involves ineliminable sources of suffering-not least our consciousness that we come into being by chance and cease to be by necessity. of a fixed. the La st Man's ideal [it] is expressed as the practical imperative to abolish sufferin g. w hile suffering remains real. . The dis position to truthfulness is a condition of recognizing the ineliminability of ch ance and necessity. a fortiori. our exposure t o chance and necessity. completed state of being the Ube rmensch s ideal offers a feeling of power predicated only on the continual overcom ing of the desire for any such state. let alone affirm. This response recognizes both the reality and the inelimin ability of suffering and concludes that an affirmation of chance and necessity m ust therefore be built into the very conception of what it is for something to f unction as a[n] (postascetic) ideal.

every last migraine. Process. You have been una ble to even improve your condition significantly. Dionysus. Imagine yourself in a feverish state e xperiencing nausea and vomiting. Imagine that this sort of thing has been going on for years and years and that you have been unable to do anything about it. the threat of eternal recurrence brings out the basic horror in every life. Which is to say. if everything will be exactly the same in o ur next life. a demon appears to you or you imagine a demon appearing to you. Would that mak e you want to live it again? Would you at the moment in which you feel that your life was a happy one also crave nothing more fervently than to live it again? W hat if your life was a joyous life or a proud life? It is quite clear that you c ould have a very positive attitude toward your life and not at all want to live it again. not Apollo. or came to be." Professor J Philip writes. s hows us the horror of existence. while Kant offers a juridical conception of practical reasoning structured in terms of the idea of law. if the idea grew on you and gained possession of you. Suppose this state has led you to see. or at least some distracti on. not product. On the other hand. And this demon tells you that you will hav e to live your life over again. just see what happens if you start to think that you will hav e to live it again. If you think you are supremely hap py with your life. Live it over again with nothing new? It is the "nothing new" that does it. suffering for no reason at all." Nietzsche's conception involves a continual pr ocess of movement from the attained to the attainable.19 Now imagine that at your worst moment. die as soon as possible. we expect. every last bout of nausea and vomiting. the horror and terror of existence. You have even thought of suicide (BGE 157). n o one would bat an eye.e. nothin g more divine? How could you do this? Why would you do this? Why wouldn't it be madness? What is going on here? How has this been overlooked by all the commenta tors? This cries out for explanation. wouldn't the prospect of eternal repetition. [En d Page 55] every last bit of pain and suffering. innumerable times more. That is h ow we make it through our existing life.18 You have no expectation of e ver doing so. something new. which centers on an opposition between the real and the ideal (between the heteronomous and the autonomous). I think we can say. i. some hope. Thus. to an Ubermenschlich rapport a soi. and that everything. We hope for. No matter what you say about your life. or perhaps merely confirmed your insight into. something different. that is. Ex treme care with your diet. What would your reaction be? If your reaction were to be negative. Eternal recurrence. If that is ruled out. All you can expect is suffering. some progress. no matt er how happy you claim to have been. That makes no sense to me. Suppose that you can. your loneliest loneliness. well that is a different story. second best. begin to sap even the best life of its att ractiveness? Wouldn't the expectation of eternal repetition make anything less a ppealing? Wouldn't it empty your life of its significance and meaning? Most comm entators seem to assume that the only life we could expect anyone to want to liv e again would be a good life. look back ove r your life as a whole and feel that it was a good one a happy one. Nietzsche's genealogic al investigation (at its best. most . and denies "the most fu ndamental prerequisites of life. continuous experimenting with me dicines all accomplish nothing. "Try to imagine yourself with a migraine. But what if your reaction was. exactly the same. concern for climate. will return. some improvement. its most self-consistent) exemplifies preci sely that commitment to the affirmation of life which it recommends. and it is precisely this that the rapport a soi constitutive of the Ubermensch exhibits. In fact. positive? What if you were able to love your life so completely that you would not want to change a single moment a single moment of suffering? What if you were to come to crave nothing more fervently than the eternal recurrence of every moment of your life? What if you were to see this as an ultimate confirmation and seal. m eaningless suffering.ion of practical reasoning. no matter how bright a face you put on it. It has led you to suspec t that Silenus was right: best never to have been born. over and over and o ver again. as Aristotle suggested. Nietzsche offers a medical or therapeutic conception articulated t hrough the idea of the type or exemplar.. You are unable to cure yourself.

He put himself in charge. He turned all "it was" into a "thus I willed it. this is exactly what Nietzsche did. Neverthe less. then the only thing that remains to him. At the prospect of living his life over again. He decided t hat he would not change one single detail of his life. Surrounded by countless forces. is to eliminate utterly and completely a relationship that is so disadvantage ous to him. HH 99). He decided to accept it fully." E verything that was going to happen in his life. for example. how can one be to blame for it? How can one be responsible? It can be none of our doing. Suff ering no longer has the meaning Christianity gave to it. He was subjugated by it. nausea. I f he is no longer able to oppose physical force by his relatively weaker physica l force. all of which are superior to his own and wield mastery over him. he willed . we must see that there is meaning here it is just that it lies precisely in the meaninglessness. I think Nietzsche was ab le to see that a life of intense pain and suffering is perhaps the only life it really makes sense to want to live again. . He ended his subjugatio n. If suffering just returns eternally. He sough t a better climate. "We have seen that in Nietzsche's opinion [is] we cannot bear meaningless suffer ing and so we give it a meaning. he was ready to say. love every detail of one's life. . Often he was u nable to work and confined to bed. There is no longer any sin . We are innocent . . It dominated his life and determined his every activity. He became a slave to his illness. [W]hoever suffers this cravenly throws his humanity away. To destroy the very concept of a force means simply to submit to it vol untarily. . Philip-2 continues. he chose. with every deta il of suffering and pain the same. and to destroy the very concept of a force to which he must in fact succumb. [for] no purpose. One is no longer accountable (TI "Errors" 8. not wish to change a single moment of sufferin . In one sense this is perfectly correct. explains it as punis hment for sin. without the slightest change. And Nietzsche does want to accept as mu ch meaninglessness and suffering as he can bear (BGE 39. suffering intense migraines. But this way he broke the psychological stranglehold it had over him. i t repeats eternally. There is no longer any guilt. if he is not to suffer violenc e. He became sovereign over his life. this creates the innocence of existence. Suffering can no longer be seen as punishment. Eternal recurrence. not one moment of pain. suffering for no reas on at all. He experimented with medici nes. he accepted. H e decided to love his fate. What was he to do about h is suffering? What was he to do about the fact that it came to dominate every mo ment of his life? What was he to do about the fact that it was robbing him of al l freedom and dignity? What was he to do about this?subjugation and slavery? He decided to submit to it voluntarily. Christianity. He was o verpowered by it. . He watched his diet fanatically. WP 585a). His suffering was out o f his control. if even the slightest change is impossible. over again an infinite number of times. There was no way to overcome his illness ex cept by embracing it. and vomiting. What was he to do? At the beginning of the es say "On the Sublime." Suffering is entirely unavoidable and guiltless. He fought this. Eternal recurrence would seem to rub our noses in meaningless suffering. It implies that suffering just happens. Nothing worked. This itself could explain why one would be able to embrace eternal recurrence. suffering that just happens. He tried everything. no reason for it.20 Although Nietzsche did not go about it in the way Schiller had in m ind. There was no freedom or dignity here." Schiller writes: [N]othing is so unworthy of man than to suffer violence. Embracing eternal recurrence means imposing suffering on on eself. nevertheless. would certainly seem to plunge us ba ck into meaningless suffering (WP 55). it is fated. T he meaninglessness of suffering means the innocence of suffering. . He could not change his life anyway. .people would assume that a life of intense pain and suffering is not at all the sort of life it makes any sense to want to live again. This is the position in which man finds himself. meaningless suffering. Let me try to explain. . For years Niet zsche was ill. "Well then! Once more!" (Z IV: "The Drunken Song" 1). however. He could not improve his condition. 225. There is no plan. . But at the very same time. Suffering no longer has its old meaning. That is the ne w meaning that suffering is given.

by trying to remove nuclear weapons. by changing t he world to reduce suffering. if the point is to turn s uffering into empowerment. but o ne may even in a sense reduce suffering below the level of physical suffering. handles it better and better. O ne does not do this as the liberal. . it is possible to love such suffering as a sign of increased power. as Nietzsche has said. Eternal recurrence gives the Übermensch meaning. He would perceive us as trying to rob him of the strength he had achieved . [End Page 59] Eternal recurrence also gives suffering another meaning. He is able to accept it. eternal recurrence of the same rules it out at least as any sort of final ac hievement. And this increases his strength. One would be loving one's own red emption from guilt. He is able to love it. And the more suffering one can bear. He would not want us a round. It fills the void. If suffering is self-imposed. the void. Eternal recurrence. He wills it. and. If given a meaning. He has suffered intensely for y ears. our attempt to impose our own meaning on his suffering (treating it as something to pity and to lessen) in opposition to the meaning he has succeeded in imposing on it. He would think we were patronizing him. its meaningless re petition. strip him of his dignity. He would not change the slightest detail. It is true that this life is a life of suffering. That might well be reason enough to embr ace it. meaninglessness. but (given the horror of existence) suffering cannot be avoided anywa y. He would be di sgusted with our attempt to be do-gooders. breaks its psyc hological stranglehold. what the sufferer is attempting to accomplish through s uffering. or guilt. It e liminates emptiness. I think we can at least see why Nietzsche might and even why it might make sense for him to do so . then. With what? It fills it with something to tally familiar and completely known. to wish the sufferer did not have to go through su ch suffering. and sees this as a sign of greater strengt h.23 Rather. in deed. even suffering becomes something we can seek (GM III:28). use it as a discipline to gain greater strength. we negate life.g. In Nietzsche's opinion that is impossible. punishment. If one is able to embra ce eternal recurrence. He has come to realize that he cannot end this suffering. diffe rent. as a sign of increased ability. he w ould be offended. It fills the vo id with one's own life repeated eternally. Let us try again to put ourselves in Nietzsche's place. To ta ke pity on the sufferer either would demonstrate an ignorance of the process the sufferer is engaged in. the stronger one becomes." Therefore. would demean the sufferer and the whole process of attempting to g ain greater strength through such suffering. although we may not be able to embrace it ourselves. or would show a lack of respect for the sufferer's suffering (GS 338. Indeed. How. then it would be entirely inappropriate for us to feel sorry for the sufferer. if the point is t o break the psychological stranglehold it has over us. it is only meaningless suffering that is the problem. or strange. accepts greater and greate r pain. He has suffered for years. with something that is not at all frightening. He cannot even r educe it significantly. O ne craves pain "more pain! more pain!" (GM III:20). but it does not go all the way or it wo uld crush even the Übermensch. But he has finally been able to break the psychological stranglehold it has had over him. makes our suffering innocent. Or. with something that is in no way new. To pity the sufferer. and at least suffering has been stripped of any surplus suffering brought abo ut by concepts of sin. It has been reduced to a life of in nocence. Pain and suffering are turned into empowermen t. if one is able to turn all "it was" into a "thus I willed it. or Christian would." then one not only reduces suffering to physical suffering. socialist. a d iscipline. D 135). which brings one greater power. Moreover. the fatedness of suffering. Eternal recurrence brings the Übermensch as close as possible to the truth. would [the Übermensch] respond to our pity? Very likely. subjugate him again to his suffering. One would be embracing one's own innocence. One might think of an ath lete who engages in more and more strenuous activity. a training. physical suffering is reduced by treating it as a test. and eliminates surplus suffering related to guilt.